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Bedfordshire Police - Download as PDF


Bedfordshire Police

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“Police officers can access the
 same report and work together
 to alter documents and make
 comments online. This approach
 has resulted in a quicker and
 more informed decision making
 process .”
Customer Profile
COUNTRY:                         The Special Constabulary at
UK - REGIONAL                    Bedfordshire Police has enlisted
                                 Cobweb Solutions to cater for
                                 its communications and
                                 messaging needs.
A 200 STRONG SPECIAL             The Constabulary has implemented Cobweb's
CONSTABULARY TEAM WITHIN         Hosted Windows SharePoint Services, a team
BEDFORDSHIRE POLICE.             working and collaboration tool that gives special
                                 Constables within the force real-time, online
                                 access to crucial information. It also provides
BUSINESS CHLLENGE:               them with the functionality to update their
A DISPERSED TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS   availability for weekly duties and allows higher-
WHO COME FROM ALL TYPE OF        ranking Special Officers to collaborate on
BACKGROUNDS WITH DIFFERENT       important documents over the Internet. This
                                 new approach to working has helped the force
WORK AND FAMILY DEMANDS WHO      to improve productivity and speed up the
NEED ACCESS TO DUTY AND SHIFT    decision making process.
INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR          The Special Constabulary is a force of
AVAILABILITY.                    volunteers who receive training from their local
                                 police force to work with and offer support to
                                 regular (full-time) officers.The 200 Special
SOLUTION:                        Constables at Bedfordshire Police, who give at
COBWEB’S HOSTED WINDOWS          least four hours of their spare time a week, are
SHAREPOINT SERVICES, A TEAM      a vital link between the regular police and the
WORKING AND COLLABORATION        local community.
TOOL THAT GIVES SPECIAL          Volunteers within The Special Constabulary
CONSTABLES WITHIN THE FORCE      come from all walks of life and are often in full
REAL-TIME, ONLINE ACCESS TO      or part-time employment, education or bringing
CRUCIAL INFORMATION.             up a family. Co-ordinating the availability of so
                                 many volunteers located across the county, and
                                 sharing crucial information about duties, shift
                                 patterns and new procedures was becoming
                                 increasingly difficult for the Bedfordshire Police
                                 to manage.

                                 Prior to the implementation of Cobweb's
                                 Hosted Windows SharePoint Services solution
                                 the only means of sharing key information
                                 amongst Special Constables was at pre-planned
                                 regular section meetings or via a group email
                                 address. Invariably some volunteers would not
                                 be able to make these meeting and there was
                                 no guarantee that the group emails were being
                                 received in a timely manner

                                 The Specials Constabulary found it did not have
                                 in place an effective procedure to meet the
                                 frequent and urgent operational needs of the
                                 regular Bedfordshire Police force.
The Challenge
                                                        The Special Constabulary required a flexible
                                                        method of communication that would enable it
                                                        to reach all constables at the same time
                                                        regardless of their disparate locations.
                                                        The implementation of Cobweb's Hosted
                                                        Windows SharePoint Services solution has
                                                        provided The Special Constabulary with a direct
                                                        communications channel to its Constables as
                                                        well as improving the Constabulary's
                                                        productivity and effectiveness in meeting the
                                                        needs of the regular Bedfordshire Police force.
A request from the force might involve
providing increased police presence in a high-          If an urgent operational request comes in,
crime area, perhaps due to a recent spate of car        supervisors can simply arrange for an email
robberies.                                              alert to be sent to all Bedfordshire Police
                                                        specials simultaneously.
Traditionally a cascade telephone system would
be used, whereby each individual special would          Nigel Green comments: “Our Special
be contacted to find out their availability, but this   Constables have all provided an email address
was both time-consuming and expensive.                  on which they can most easily be reached.

“Cobweb Solutions provides
 Bedfordshire Police with vital link to
 Special Constabulary .”

The Solution
They might access this via a home PC, at work           Police's new dedicated SharePoint web site with
or even at an Internet café.This procedure takes        their own login and password and update their
a matter of minutes for us to execute, whereas          availability. Supervisors can then easily and
before we'd spend hours calling our teams to            quickly alter rosters accordingly and distribute a
see who would be available for duty at short            notification email, without making a series of
notice. We've definitely observed a significant         lengthy telephone calls.
reduction in our phone bills since we began
working with Cobweb Solutions, as well as this          Predictability of cost through
freeing up hours of my time each week.”                 Cobweb's pay-as-you-go per user
                                                        per month pricing system also allows
Part of the nature of volunteering is that Special      for The Special Constabulary to keep
Constables might have more free time one                its costs down in response to
week than another. With Cobweb's Hosted                 changing workforce numbers and
Windows SharePoint Services solution, Special           structure.
Constables can simply access Bedfordshire
“The system allows us to protect our
 information through security controls
 that that only allow the correct users
 to see the data that they should..”

                                                     work together to alter documents and make
                                                     comments online. This approach has resulted in
                                                     a quicker and more informed decision making

                                                     Other security features contained within the
                                                     Cobweb Hosted Windows SharePoint Services
                                                     solution includes comprehensive antivirus
                                                     protection, daily data backups and secure access
 The constabulary currently has 214 users, with      via SSL that removes the need for expensive
a capacity of 250.                                   and difficult to manage VPNs.
Security was also a huge concern for the
Constabulary. Roger Wilshaw, a Bedfordshire          Cobweb's Hosted Windows SharePoint
Police Special Constable who instigated the          Services provides the Constabulary with the
implementation of Cobweb's Hosted WSS                flexibility to store, share and retrieve reports,
commented:                                           minutes and training documents in the form of
                                                     Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.The
“Due to the confidential nature of the               Constabulary can also share localised results
information being shared on the Bedfordshire         with the rest of the county in the form of
Police SharePoint website, security was a key        photo or video clips, such as a recent recording
requirement.The system allows us to protect          of a successful operation taken from a
our information through security controls that       helicopter.
that only allow the correct users to see the data
that they should. Cobweb's commitment to             Nigel Green concludes: “Cobweb's Hosted
security best practice standards such as             Windows SharePoint Services has provided us
ISO27001 provided us with real peace of mind         with an incredibly easy and quick method of
that the integrity and security of our data was in   sharing key information, procedures and training
good hands.”                                         materials with our Special Constables, who each
                                                     week give up their valuable spare time to
He added: “As well as each Special Constable         support the Bedfordshire Police force and the
being given their own log in and password,           localcommunity.”
higher-ranking Special Officers have additional
access permissions and editing capabilities, which
Cobweb tightly monitors on our behalf. If
required, an officer or in some cases teams of
police officers, can access the same report and

South Wing Delme Place Cams Hall Estate Fareham Hants PO16 8UX
Tel 0845 223 9000

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